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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 243-245

Role of omega 3 fatty acids in the management of various diseases---A special emphasis on COVID-19


Department of General Medicine, Konaseema Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Foundation (KIMS&RF), Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Submission05-Oct-2021
Date of Decision21-Oct-2021
Date of Acceptance03-Nov-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Dec-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sahithi K Budharaju
Konaseema Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Foundation (KIMS&RF), Amalapuram - 533 201, Andhra Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdrntruhs.jdrntruhs_135_21

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  Abstract 


Omega fatty acids (FA) have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory actions in several inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis psoriasis and asthma. The metabolites of these omega FA are found to have strong anti-inflammatory effects against several allergic and inflammatory diseases. A significant reduction of almost 25% of adverse cardiovascular events has been observed with supplementation of omega FA in many of the studies conducted globally. Neurological function of human brain is invariably dependent on the adequate intake of omega FA's, as the omega-6 and omega-3 FA's promote systemic anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory states. Supplementation of Omega 3 FA can be a promising option as an adjuvant therapy in eczema and psoriasis, retinoid-induced cutaneous side effects, chemotherapy and systemic photoprotection. Omega-3 FA-rich diet or dietary supplementation of omega fatty acids can be considered as one of the therapeutic supplementing options among the home treated and hospitalized patients of COVID-19, because of their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

Keywords: Anti-inflammation, chronic diseases, COVID-19, diet, omega fatty acids


How to cite this article:
Chandramahanti S S, Budharaju SK. Role of omega 3 fatty acids in the management of various diseases---A special emphasis on COVID-19. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2022;11:243-5

How to cite this URL:
Chandramahanti S S, Budharaju SK. Role of omega 3 fatty acids in the management of various diseases---A special emphasis on COVID-19. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 29];11:243-5. Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2022/11/3/243/365009




  Background Top


'Omega 6 (ω-6) and Omega 3 (ω-3) fatty acids (FA)' belong to the group of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA), which are amongst the major dietary sources of energy. The major ω-3 FA are 'eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)'. The major ω-6 FA are 'linolenic acid (LA), arachidonic acid (AA), docosapentanoic acid (DPA)'. For ensuring the decent constitutional functioning and maintenance of various organ systems of human body, a minimum of 10 parts of ω-6 and 1 part of ω-3 FA must be present in the regular diet of an individual. DHA and EPA are the end products of ω-3 FA metabolism and are critical for the Central Nervous System (CNS) functioning and development.[1] DHA are observed to reduce the platelet aggregation, cellular and vascular inflammation by decreasing the levels of thromboxane A2 and increasing prostacyclin's, thereby producing an anti-inflammatory effect. ω-3 and ω-6 FA have several favourable effects on the body to fight against various inflammatory diseases.[2],[3] Moreover, the metabolites of these omega FA are found to have strong anti-inflammatory effects against several allergic and inflammatory diseases, but not much is known or compiled comprehensively pertaining to the essential impact of these omega FA metabolites on other diseases like skin disorders and infectious diseases like COVID-19. Omega FA's have been found to have significant anti-inflammatory actions in several inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis psoriasis and asthma. Through this review, we focused on the potential anti-inflammatory actions and favourable outcomes of using these omega FA in various inflammatory and infectious diseases.


  Omega FA and Cardiovascular Disease Top


ω-3 FA's are found to affect both endothelium and platelets, hence inhibiting the procoagulant activity of both the cell type which is considered to be one amongst the crucial mechanisms towards cardio protection.[4] American Heart Association (AHA) recommends supplementation of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to the patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and hypertriglyceridemia to alleviate the pharmacological treatment through the cardioprotective actions. Omega-3 and omega-6 FA supplementation can limit the cardiovascular disease progression to better extent, hence applied in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. A significant reduction of almost 25% of adverse cardiovascular events have been observed with supplementation of omega FA in many of the studies conducted globally.[5],[6] Moreover, it is very essential to sustain adequate proportions of omega-6 and omega-3 FA's through diet.


  Omega FA and Neuropsychiatric Disorders Top


Neuropsychiatric disorders are a growing burden globally and have become an increasingly crucial public health issue as they are one among the leading causes for people living with disability worldwide.[7] Neurological function of human brain is invariably dependent on the adequate intake of omega FA's, as the omega-6 and omega-3 FA's promote systemic anti-inflammatory and proinflammatory states. Omega FA's like DHA, AA and their metabolites serve as the intracellular secondary messengers in modulating several brain processes which include neurotransmission, gene transcription and neuroinflammation.[8],[9] The omega FA, DHA significantly affects the cognition and brain plasticity by enhancing the levels of 'brain-derived neurotrophic factor' in the hippocampus and through various metabolic effects like mitochondrial function, stimulation of glucose utilization and decreasing the oxidative stress. Administration of omega 3 FA is often considered as a promising approach in improving the neurological functions and decelerating the progression cognitive in cases of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia.[10]


  Omega FA and Skin Disorders Top


Omega 3 FAs have a significant role to play in the skin health as a comprehensive approach because of their low cost for supplementation, tolerability, high safety profile and added health benefits. Supplementation of Omega 3 FA can be a promising option as an adjuvant therapy in eczema and psoriasis, retinoid-induced cutaneous side effects, chemotherapy and systemic photoprotection.[11] There's been prominent decrease in the severity of disease in the psoriatic patients after oral supplementation of Omega 3 FA's and a significant decrement in the inflammatory lesion counts following 5 weeks supplementation of 2,000 mg/d of EPA and DHA in Acne patients.[12],[13] A prominent reduction in the skin malignancy has been observed with increased Omega 3 FA's intake among the skin cancer patients and significant betterment in all the disease outcomes of Atopic dermatitis patients including erythema, desquamation, and infiltration within a few days of treatment with Omega 3 FA's.[14],[15]


  Omega FA and COVID 19 Top


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging disease of respiratory system of humans causing a global pandemic of concern. COVID-19 can cause severe complications that could be largely due to the hyper stimulated immune system of the host, leading to a condition of 'cytokine storm', resulting to states of 'acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)', disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)', multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) and death.[16] Each and every effort has been counted and focused towards the prevention and generating latest medications or remodeling the existing treatment options towards mitigating the adversity of the COVID-19 patients. Immune dysregulation is one of the potential aspects complicating the disease status of COVID-19, where omega FA can have a significant role to play. ω-3 FA are known to be integrated into the bi-phospholipid layer of the cell membrane throughout the body leading to the minimized pro-inflammatory mediator production when compared to the other FA's present in the routine diet.[17]

ω-3 FA's can prevent the viral entry into the host cells by altering the fat composition in the cellular bilipid membranes. Being embraced in the cell membranes and regulating the clumping of 'toll-like receptors', these ω-3 FA's prevent signals which activate the nuclear factor kappa light chain enhancer of activated B cells and thereby help to improve the COVID-19 complications by producing lesser pro-inflammatory mediators. Resolvins D and E produced as the precursors of DHA and EPA are observed to reduce the proinflammatory mediators, hence reduce the recruitment of pulmonary neutrophils and increasing the apoptosis by macrophages, thereby reducing the IL-6 production in the Broncho-alveolar epithelium, resultantly decreasing the lung inflammation. Also, the ω-3 FA's plays a key role in enhancing the phagocytic capability of macrophages by altering the cell membrane composition.[18] As omega FA's are inexpensive, naturally available abundantly and can have a potential role as a good and healthier choice of nutritive and therapeutic supplement during the pandemic situation. Omega-3 FA-rich diet or dietary supplementation of omega FA can be considered as one of the supplementation therapeutic option among the home treated and hospitalized patients, because of their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. Future research with larger clinical trials is required to support and validate the current observations as role of omega fatty acids in the management of COVID-19.


  Conclusion Top


Apart from the latest developed medications, fortification of omega FA can be a promising intervention in the management of various diseases like Cardiovascular disease, COVID-19, Cancer, neuropsychiatric disorders, etc., with substantial long-term safety.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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